Aetna Refreshing and Strengthening Emergency Assistance Program for Expats

Posted on Jan 13, 2011

Aetna announced the launch of its enhanced global emergency assistance program on November 11th, 2010, which will provide its international members with emergency and urgent medical evacuation, repatriation and medical assistance, as well as access to travel assistance services. The new program is available starting December 1, 2010, to U.S.-based employers with expatriate health plans through Aetna Global Benefits (AGB), the organization’s international benefits division.

In combination with its existing 24/7 customer service and clinical support capabilities, AGB will leverage the proven travel assistance capabilities and services of On Call International. On Call is the U.S. affiliate of the International Assistance Group, a global, collaborative network of 32 independent medical assistance companies with response centers in 53 locations.

“The unique structure of our global emergency assistance services with On Call allows us to provide a better customer experience as part of our integrated service model,” said Donna Otten, head of AGB. “One call to Aetna by the member or physician triggers live coordination of the medical evacuation process with On Call based on our prompt identification of the affected member, his or her plan benefits and the emergency situation. Our members and providers won’t have to repeat this information since our streamlined process ensures immediate and consistent notification to all parties involved in managing the member’s care seamlessly, including our in-house clinicians in the International Health Advisory Team.

“The end result for our members and employer plan sponsors is a better evacuation outcome with enhanced communication and reporting, real-time data access, and greater flexibility in plan options,” added Otten.

As part of the global emergency assistance program, AGB members receive:

  • Emergency evacuation services, such as emergency or urgent medical evacuation, medical repatriation coordination and companion travel coordination;
  • Medical assistance services, such as pre-trip planning; medical, dental and pharmacy referrals; and delivery of medicine and vaccines; and
  • Access to additional travel assistance services, such as translation and interpreters, pet return, and assistance with emergency cash advances, lost luggage and the replacement of lost traveling documents.

“In virtually every corner of the world, On Call provides medical evacuation and travel assistance. We look forward to serving AGB’s expatriate members and establishing a long and mutually fulfilling relationship,” said Mike Kelly, president and CEO of On Call International. “As the leader of medical and travel assistance for the U.S. travel insurance, student-travel and cruise industries, our program with AGB expands On Call’s reach into the international employee benefits sector with a customized plan to meet the needs of AGB’s expat members.”

About Aetna Global Benefits

Aetna Global Benefits, the international business segment of Aetna, is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health benefits and health management solutions worldwide. AGB’s expatriate business is one of the industry’s largest and most prominent U.S.-based international health benefits providers, supporting more than 400,000 members worldwide. Our expatriate offerings include medical, dental, vision, life, disability and emergency assistance. The organization’s health management business collaborates with health care systems, government entities and plan sponsors around the world to design and build locally-applied health management solutions to improve health, quality and cost outcomes.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.4 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates.

About On Call International

On Call International is a leading provider of medical, security and travel assistance for international business and leisure travelers, as well as expatriates, students and others traveling away from home. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, On Call International’s experienced, multi-lingual team of Assistance Coordinators and in-house Medical Director and team of physicians specialize in delivering life-determining aid during medical emergencies from any point on the globe as well as coordination of transportation home after accidents or illnesses. Available to assist more than ten million travelers, On Call serves the travel, education, insurance and maritime industries. On Call International is the U.S. member of the International Assistance Group, a 32-partner global network of independent assistance companies, including more than 50 alarm centers.